Zomba Taekwondo athletes have vowed to conquer at the national finals of the Presidential Initiative on Sports (PIS) slated for end of June this year at the Lake Shore Central Region district of Salima.
The athletes are the ones that have triumphed during the Eastern Region finals which took place at the Zomba Community Centre Hall on Sunday.
They are Tenson Malikebu, Innocent Kathumba, Gift Chopi, Saidi Yolamu, Chisomo Mpulula and Nyozani Peter. The national finals in Salima are expected to pool together Taekwondo athletes from Mzuzu, Blantyre, Lilongwe and Zomba.
Speaking in an interview with Nyasa Times after the event, 20-year-old Malikebu said they are prepared to bring back the lost glory.
“We were the first club to win this trophy but it has eluded us for the past two years. Take it from me that we are going to wrestle it from the current holders Blantyre this time around,” he said.
However, Malikebu appealed to well-wishers to support them with funds for food, accommodation and transport since the organizers of the tournament will not cater for that.
“We are trying everything possible on our part to get some funds but it is not enough. I know Zomba has able people who can come to our rescue before the day of the national finals on 29th June,” he said.
President of the Taekwondo Association of Malawi (TAM) Benedicto Tsinde said in a separate interview that each region has been asked to bring six athletes to the national tournament.
“We have told them to source their own funding for the day-long tournament because our allocation is not enough. All in all, we have been impressed with the way the sport has developed in Malawi since its inception.
“Plans are underway to take the sport to other districts that have not sampled it and launch clubs for athletes to showcase their talent. Our appeal also goes to the corporate world to assist us with sponsorship of tournaments to keep the athletes active apart from the Presidential Cup,” said Tsinde.